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About The Book

The novel is based on the traditional Ukrainian folk song "Oi, ne khody Hrytsiu". The tragic story of a young man torn between two women and poisoned by one of them lends itself readily to literary interpretations. But in Kobylianska's interpretation, this is far more than a melodramatic love story with a predictable ending. It is not merely the love story of Tetiana and Hryts: it is a story of the eternal conflict between passion and reason, between personal happiness and social constraints, between freedom and its practical limitations. Kobylianska turns the love story into a feminist exploration of the psychology of two strong women, Tetiana and her mentor (and Hryts's mother) Mavra. Like figures in a classical Greek tragedy, Kobylianska's characters move in a graceful, stylized narrative ballet toward their inevitable fate, leading the reader into an ever-deepening thematic exploration of human emotions and social conventions.

About The Author

Olha Kobylianska

Olha Kobylianska

Olha Kobylianska (1863–1942) was one of Ukraine's most prominent modernist novelists. A self-educated and well-read woman, she wrote her first stories in German. Her friendships with prominent Ukrainians, including Lesia Ukrainka, Natalia Kobrynska, and Osyp Makovei, changed her cultural outlook. She became involved in the Ukrainian women's …


  1. Myron Shatulsky's review in The Ukrainian Canadian Herald, May28
  2. Tatiana Nazarenko's review in World Literature Today, Vol. 76, No. 2 (Spring2002), pp. 232-233
  3. Vitaly Chernetsky's review in Slavic and East European Journal, Vol. 46, No. 3 (Fall, 2003), pp. 608-609

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